Gulay Ozkan has more than 12 years experience in the entrepreneurial ecosystem. During this time, she has met more than a thousand entrepreneurs and evaluated many startups in incubation centers, techno-parks and universities. Gulay was one of the key figures behind Turkey’s first technology incubation center, launched by Ericsson in 2000, where she worked with leading telecoms operators from China to South America. She and her team were instrumental in building the Turkish mobile VAS market.In 2007 Gulay founded GEDS Business, a consultancy company focused on design-driven innovation and entrepreneurship in technology industries in emerging markets.
She is a mentor of US Peace Corps in Africa, Founder Institute in Turkey, and an advisory board member of American Academic & Scholarly Research Center for emerging markets. Gulay has developed a design-driven entrepreneurship and innovation concept called “ The Courage to Create a Business,” that she has been teaching at Bogazici and Bilgi Universities MBA programs in Istanbul. The innovative concept has received attention from the media and brought Gulay an international success. Gulay was awarded the99Percent fellowship by Behance Network in New York in 2012.
Gulay is the founding president of the leading Turkish project-management NGO PMI TR. She holds a BSc and an MSc in electrical engineering from ITU in Turkey and UNL-Lincoln in the US. Later, she studied drama at Studio Players, Istanbul, Turkey. She has received several awards from NATO, UNL, Ecole Nationale desPonts et Chaussées, and IE Business School in UK, USA, France and Spain respectively, amongst many others.
She is a frequent speaker at international conferences on innovation and entrepreneurship. Her articles appear on The Atlantic Media’s Quartz in US, Wamda in MENA, Ekonomist magazine in Turkey and several other outlets in different countries in English, Japanese, Arabic, and Turkish. She is a member of KAGIDER and listed in EU’s Global Board Women Ready project from Turkey.